The Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has assured the National Council of Women (NCW) on Wednesday afternoon that political appointees must prove their worth under an annual performance contract when they are recruited if they are to retain their job.
The Prime Minister made the assurance during a meeting with the representatives of the National Council of Women (NCW) and those representing various women interest groups.
During the meeting, the group made a submission on women’s political participation and recommendations to the DCC policies.
Part of the submission stated that proper scrutiny should be made on some of those listed on the unofficial political appointment list circulated by the social media and newspapers so that their appointments are justified, centred on service delivery and not merely the creation of another bureau institution with high salaries at the cost of poor mothers and families.
In acknowledging the submission, the Prime Minister stressed that the issue of political appointees could be better discussed when official appointments are made and duly announced by the government
The Prime Minister said the issue that continues to surface in the media could be better debated once a formal announcement is made by the government as in its current stage, the appointments are not absolute so the discussions on the topic only leaves room for more speculation.
He told the women’s delegation that while the DCC government welcomed their submission, he contends that discussion surrounding the ‘unsactioned’ list currently in circulation is unnecessary and only distract the public of other important activities the government is embarking on such as the completion and the launching of the government’s policy document within its 50-days in office.
The NCW indicated to the Prime Minister that while they recommend that the number of political appointments be reduced, the women’s pressure group advocated for a Gender Focal Point Advisory position within the PMO, the reappointment without condition of the former Clerk to Parliament Ms Taeasi Sanga, the appointment of a Policy secretary for Women, Youth and Reconciliation at the Caucus Office and appointment of more women as Permanent Secretaries and High Commissioners.
The Prime Minister assured the women’s group that there is no harm in creating positions within the structure of the political government to accommodate the NCW’s recommendations but he said he will have to refer the matter to Caucus for recommendation.
The Prime Minister said the nomination of political appointees are based on qualification, political affiliations and personal abilities amongst other criteria, but there will be no reason or excuse for non-performance, which is why all contracts have been limited to a one year term and are subject to performance review.
While there might be some disappointment from the general public over the choice of certain Appointees, the Prime Minister said he has made it clear that those selected will be required to prove themselves and there will be zero tolerance towards non-performance of designated duties.
The Prime Minister said those appointees are expected to perform their duties with integrity and drive the DCC policy agenda using their experience and qualifications to achieve designated government objectives within the specified time frames and certainly not to be paid for doing nothing.
Mr Sogavare said those who have been nominated are required to supervise the implementation process from within the relevant ministries to simultaneously identify and remove existing bottlenecks in the government system.
– PM’s press secretariat